UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences hosts 2023 Welcome Week for incoming students

By Samantha Rzeszut

Published September 7, 2023


BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) welcomed incoming students during our 2023 Welcome Week, which included a multi-day orientation program, school-wide picnic and White Coat Ceremony for first year PharmD students.

White Coat Ceremony: August 23

PharmD students at White Coat Ceremony 2023.

On August 23, one hundred and sixteen PharmD students from the Class of 2027 took their first step toward becoming pharmacists during our 21st annual White Coat Ceremony, held in Slee Hall.

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage and signifies entrance into the initial stages of the profession of pharmacy. It represents a contract for excellence in providing compassionate patient care. The ceremony also highlights the importance of scientific scholarship and emphasizes the highest principles of moral, ethical and legal conduct and welcomes our UB PharmD students to begin study among the ranks of pharmacy professionals.

“This ceremony is the public embrace of our next cohort of student pharmacists and future professionals,” said Gary M. Pollack, PhD ’84, dean, UB SPPS. “It marks your transition from being undergraduate or graduate students to being professional doctoral students and is a really profound transition.”

During the "Calling of the Class," students were recognized by Nicole Albanese, PharmD, assistant dean for Student Success and Engagement. Students were cloaked in their white coats by William Prescott, Jr., PharmD, chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice. Students then crossed the stage wearing their time-honored white coats and were greeted by Kathleen Boje, PhD, associate dean, Professional Education, Donald Mager, PharmD, PhD, chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Gary Pollack, PhD, dean, UB SPPS.

Mary Randall, PharmD’20, pharmacotherapy specialist clinical pharmacist at Kaleida Health, delivered the keynote address and shared with our PharmD students, “You are about to embark on four incredible years that will set up the foundation for your careers in pharmacy.”

Orientation: August 23-25

Victor E. Bull welcomes incoming UB SPPS students at 2023 orientation.

PharmD students and incoming pharmaceutical sciences students attended orientation sessions to learn about school policies, meet student organization representatives, and connect with faculty and staff who will help support and guide their academic journey. Students also heard tips from our current students on navigating student life and explored pharmacy careers with our alumni panel.

New undergraduate pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences students visited the pharmacy school as part of UB’s undergraduate welcome weekend. Students enjoyed an ice cream social, met with staff and current students, and participated in games, activities and a scavenger hunt of the Pharmacy Building.

School Picnic and Softball Game: August 31

Welcoming events for our incoming students culminated with our annual school-wide picnic, held at the Pharmacy Building for all faculty, staff and students. Students enjoyed lawn games and participated in a scavenger hunt of the Pharmacy Building with members of their new Learning and Engagement Communities.

Incoming UB SPPS students at 2023 school welcome picnic.

Following the picnic, our Non-Pharmacy Options student club organized a student, faculty and staff softball game on Clark Lawn. In the final inning, the student team took the lead over the faculty team and won the game 14-10.

UB SPPS students, faculty and staff at 2023 softball game.

For over 135 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 14 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.